State sector board governance

This post sets out some background resources on state sector board governance.  See also my post on state sector board appointments.

General Corporate Governance

The first port of call is general resources on corporate governance.  While this material is typically expressed with private sector companies at front of mind, the governance insights and principles are largely applicable to state sector boards.  Examples include:

State Sector Entity Governance

There are resources relevant to state sector entities as a whole, or to broad groups of entities, including:

Entity-Specific Resources

While most state sector entities are Crown entities under the Crown Entities Act 2004, which provides the legal framework for their governance, many also have their own legislation, which can modify the Crown Entities Act requirements.

For some entities, the balance is the other way, with their governance framework provided primarily by separate legislation and with only some provisions of the Crown Entities Act being applicable.  For example, the Crown-owned companies listed in Schedule 4A of the Public Finance Act 1989 operate primarily under the legal framework of the Companies Act 1993 and are only subject to certain provisions of the Crown Entities Act.

Some other entities owned by the Crown are not Crown entities at all.  They operate under different legal frameworks, such as:

In the case of a company, its constitution might also specify particular governance requirements.  Company constitutions are publicly available from the New Zealand Companies Office Register.

A starting point for researching any particular entity’s specific governance arrangements would be to refer to its website, statement of intent, and annual report.

See also my posts on State Owned Enterprises and on Crown companies.

Ask people

Finally, there is a wealth of insight of the nuances of state sector board governance that comes from reflecting on a range of direct experiences.  A key resource to understand state sector governance is listening to, and discussing, the experiences of members of state sector boards, and of other stakeholders who interact with boards in a governance capacity, such as Ministers, advisers, senior executives, and auditors.

Please let me know if there are other resources I should mention.

[Updated July 2016.]